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First Drive: 2009 Volkswagen Routan

The Volkswagen Routan's "German Engineering" ad campaign has provided plenty of irony-laced comedic fodder for the Autoblog water-cooler, and VW's own press release doesn't help, heralding the Routan as "a stylish alternative to the minivan." An alternative to what? In a perfect world, VW would have revolutionized the moribund minivan segment with a production version of the 2001 Microbus concept, thereby capitalizing on V-Dub's cheeky heritage in the same way the new Beetle did in the late '90s, and perpetuated by other vehicles like the MINI Cooper and Fiat 500 today. Thankfully, all... Read More

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    Volkswagen Routan
    Report: Volkswagen Routan dead one last time
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    Volkswagen halted production of the Routan minivan in late 2012 due to low sales volume, but there were reports swirling around that it would live on and continue production alongside the closely related Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan. But now VW says that it will indeed stop Routan production for good, The Detroit Bureau reports. As ...

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    Volkswagen Routan
    Report: Chrysler slows minivan production, hasn't built VW Routan this year
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    Chrysler has slowed production of its Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans this week, Automotive News reports. The Windsor, Ontario plant will cut its three shifts from eight hours each to four hours each in an effort "to align production with market demand," a Chrysler spokesperson told AN. Chrysler also builds the closely related Routan ...

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    Volkswagen Routan
    Report: Volkswagen to resume Routan minivan production in 2013 after all
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    Last week, we reported that production of the Chrysler-based Volkswagen Routan minivan had been halted since July, and its future seemed grim. It appears now that the Volkswagen minivan will live on, with production resuming in 2013. According to an Automotive News report, the Routan will be unchanged for the 2013 model year (surprise!) and continue to be ...

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    Volkswagen Routan
    Report: Volkswagen Routan production halted, could lead to vehicle's demise
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    The Volkswagen Routan has quietly been out of production since July, but with a new three-row crossover on the way and a recent back-and-forth spat between Volkswagen executives and Sergio Marchionne of Fiat, it's probable that the 2012 model year could be the last for this minivan. The current agreement for Chrysler to build the Routan in Windsor, ...

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    Volkswagen Routan
    Los Angeles: Volkswagen confirms three-row utility for Detroit, no Routan replacement in sight
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    At a small media roundtable session with journalists at the Los Angeles Auto Show today, Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen's head of global design, confirmed that VW's much-rumored three-row utility vehicle will be "most hopefully" revealed at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. The vehicle is expected to be at once larger and less expensive than the Touareg range, ...

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    Volkswagen Routan
    Cars.com performs ultimate minivan shootout. Guess who won...
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    Cars.com rounded up the year's crop of new minivans for a comparison, the rare thrill being that minivans from every major maker are completely fresh for 2011. The entrants were the Nissan Quest (pictured), Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Chrysler Town & Country, Volkswagen Routan and Dodge Grand Caravan. The testing format was also novel, in that ...

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    Volkswagen Routan
    Volkswagen recalling 12,612 Routans for same ignition problem as Chrysler minivans
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    According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Volkswagen is recalling 12,612 Routan minivans for an ignition fault. The recall covers 2010 model year vehicles manufactured between October 2009 and June 2010, and NHTSA says that the vehicles' ignitions may inadvertently switch between "run" and "accessory," effectively shutting off the ...

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    Volkswagen Routan
    Mommies on Minivans: Practical, but where's the style?
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    Toyota can call the Sienna a swagger wagon all it wants, but the slogan isn't going to make moms any happier about hopping behind the wheel. According to The Detroit Free Press, most mothers aren't fooled by gimmicky marketing or the latest attempts to redesign the minivan as a stylish piece of transportation. Reporter Krista Jahnke followed a group of ...

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    Volkswagen Routan
    Report: Volkswagen Routan might not be back for an encore
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    "No decisions have been made regarding the Routan." This according to a source from Volkswagen. Unsurprisingly, the re-branded Chrysler minivan is rumored to be receiving less-than-enthusiastic support from Volkswagen's current management, and the ambivalence might spell doom for the Routan. Volkswagen's sales are down, though it's not necessarily the ...

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    Volkswagen Routan
    VW recalls nearly 16,000 Routan minivans on heels of Chrysler callback for same
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    2009 Volkswagen Routan – Click above for high-res image gallery Chrysler recently announced the recall of 285,000 2008 and 2009 Chrysler Town and Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans because of an improperly routed wiring harness in the sliding doors. If you were thinking that your Volkswagen Routan, which is almost completely identical to the ...

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    Volkswagen Routan
    REPORT: VW banking on Oprah giveaway to raise awareness of slow-selling Routan minivans
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    If you close your eyes and think about the Volkswagen product lineup, products like the Golf, Jetta, and Passat are sure to come to mind. Most won't picture the Routan minivan, because most Americans don't even know the rebadged Dodge Grand Caravan exists. Sales of the Routan are so bad that the minivan hasn't been made since January, and production isn't ...

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    Volkswagen Routan
    Chrysler decides to keep third shift at Windsor minivan plant, VW Routan to live on
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    Earlier this spring as Chrysler stumbled toward bankruptcy court, one of the announced cost-cutting decisions was the elimination of the third shift at the Windsor assembly plant. That's the factory that produces the Chrysler Town and Country, Dodge Caravan and Volkswagen Routan minivans. According to Ken Lewenza, president of the Canadian Auto Workers ...

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    Volkswagen Routan
    Volkswagen Routan recalled for... *magic 8-ball shake*... owner's manual omission?!
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    In Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, one of the characters decries the need for a set of detailed instructions on a packet of toothpicks. Volkswagen might feel the same way now that 18,500 of its 2009 Routan minivans are being recalled because their owner's manuals don't include a required warning not to put items on or near the airbag. In the words of the ...

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    Volkswagen Routan
    Goodbye, Routan? VW minivan reportedly not long for this world
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    That the Volkswagen Routan has been a dismal failure is probably one of the worst kept secrets in the industry, but until now, few have taken stock of just how poorly the badge-engineered minivan was selling.The idea was fairly straightforward, if a tad ill-conceived: take a Dodge Caravan, slap on a fresh face and a VW badge and give it an unpronounceable ...

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    Volkswagen Routan
    Routan Bust? VW asks Chrysler to stop building minivans for February
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    Evidently, early consumer feedback suggests that Fahrvergnügen is not spelled "R-o-u-t-a-n." Volkswagen has reportedly asked Chrysler Canada to temporarily halt production for the month of February on its new ported-over minivan.Initial Routan sales have been slow, with the Windsor Star reporting that around 29,000 units have been shipped to dealers, ...

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    Volkswagen Routan
    Nein, danke: VW not interested in buying Chrysler minivan business
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    With Chrysler's fortunes swirling around the drain, it's widely expected that the only way it will survive is as individual parts swallowed by other automakers. But while the costly Viper operation may find a new home, the most likely buyer for its minivan operation, the product that put the company back on the map over two decades ago, isn't ...

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    Volkswagen Routan
    First Drive: 2009 Volkswagen Routan
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    The Volkswagen Routan's "German Engineering" ad campaign has provided plenty of irony-laced comedic fodder for the Autoblog water-cooler, and VW's own press release doesn't help, heralding the Routan as "a stylish alternative to the minivan." An alternative to what?In a perfect world, VW would have revolutionized the moribund minivan segment with a ...

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    Volkswagen Routan
    VIDEO: Brooke Shields pretending VW Routan is NOT a Dodge Caravan
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    In what could very possibly be the worst auto-related commercial we have ever seen, Volkswagen has somehow convinced Brooke Shields (really Brooke, are things this bad?) to shill its new, at least to VW showrooms, Caravan Routan minivan. Apparently, what the people want is a badge-engineered Volkswagen version of the Pentastar minivan platform. In the ...

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    Volkswagen Routan
    Minivan drivers must have big families... um, what?
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    Let's get one thing off our chests right away: VW's Routan minivan was not engineered in Germany. Instead, it is a mildly refinished version of the Dodge Caravan and Chrysler Town and Country twins. We guess that makes these vans triplets, which goes along with Volkswagen's current marketing scheme, starring Brooke Shields. Obviously, it's a farce, but it ...

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    Volkswagen Routan
    Volkswagen offering 0% financing on all 2008 models
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    Volkswagen typically shies away from massive rebates, but tough sledding on the sales floor had led the German automaker to take drastic measures. All 2008 models can be had with 0% financing for a limited time, which should help VW dealers clear inventory before the '09 models arrive. The 0% deals vary in duration depending on the model, with most models ...

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